Chinese Resources

Thursday, October 4, 2012

One of these corrections is not like the other.

In the interest of fully exploring iTalki, I have decided to take advantage of their "notebook entry" feature over the past few days. Notebook entry, like the name suggests, is a place where one can write a journal entry for friends and other iTalki members to see. The goal is that a native speaker of the target language will take the time to correct your article, thus improving your target language.

While this is a good idea, and great writing practice, it is clear after just two journal entries that the quality of corrections will very greatly between users, and that most native speakers have no training in teaching a second language what-so-ever. You end up with corrections that simply rely on the speakers 語感 (linguistic feeling) rather than provided you with reasons as to why is is a mistake, or why a word doesn't make sense in the context etc.

Take an example of two different corrections from my own journal entry on "the preparatory stages of research." One user's corrections (seen below) has taken my opening paragraph and made drastic changes, but has not provided any reason as to why the changes are being made. Are my sentences grammatically incorrect, or do they just think that their way "sounds" better... I simply don't know.

本文提出一個很重要的句子观点,那就是「某種研究要從很好的問題開始在进行某项研究之前要提出一个很好的问题」。由此一來,我們可以發現「問題」這個詞的重要性。但我們怎麼從問題起來出发到研究呢?這其實不簡單,不過這篇文章的目的就是如何幫助學習者實施一個很值得的研究帮助学者如何来开展一项有意义的研究。 
On the other hand, I got another correction from a user who actually took the time to provide me with the necessary information I would need to actually learn from this writing exercise (see below). I am given options between words, and clarification between what is wrong, and what simply sounds clearer. Also, after the corrections, the user actually took the time to explain why the corrections were made. In this case, my usage of words like "很" or "可" take away from an academic voice that I am aiming for in the paper, which the user explains. Unlike the corrections above, which is ambiguous at best, I can use this information when working on future writing assignments.

In sum, we should be wary of the corrections made on these types of sites, and careful in choosing what kind of feedback we actually want to follow. Also, a quick tip to using sites like iTalki. If you find a correction you like, be sure to express your thanks by providing the same types of feedback to that users writing. That is, of course, if you want them to correct something for you again!
The preparatory stages of research (研究之前的步驟)
本文提出一個很重要的句子,那就是「(某種)研究要從()好的問題開始」。由此一來,我們可以發現「問題」這個詞的重要性。但我們怎麼從問題起來(開始)到研究呢?這其實()不簡單,不過這篇文章的目的就是要探討or討論如何幫助學習者實施一個()值得的研究。
假使要作研究,我們應該從普遍的問題(1)問(2)開始,不過哪一個問題呢?在這方面,我們其實有各種選擇,譬如:自己本身的經驗或興趣、其他發表過的研究等、第二語言習得之外的資料等等。這些出處(還是要說源頭)(來源) (出處、源頭都可以,可是我覺得來源最好)不但可以啓發研究的內容、並且可以幫助我們使用不同的角度觀察一些第二語言習得(學習第二語言)(第二語言習得ok, 可是我覺得"學習第二語言"更好)的現象。
拿到(有了)(準備好)問題之後,我們還是得找尋問題的焦點,也要想好這個問題有哪些可以研究的因素或重點。當時(?當然),我們也必須考慮到這個問題與研究的可能性,若我們無法做得到或可能性太低的話,那也能會表示未來會有很大的困難。
接下來,我們也必須決定這個研究的目的或用途。這個研究要答疑或發現某種事情,還是要試驗以前提出的假設?這兩個不同的方向會影響到未來的計劃。決定好了而考慮到這三個步驟之後,才能真正的開始制定本人(?)(不太了解,文意是甚麼?)的研究安排或研究的假設。
由此可見,作研究之前一定要花相當多時間一直思想。另外,重點是要從最基本的因素開始,比如興趣或經驗,循序逐漸地來到研究的安排或研究的假設。如果不按照循序的話,會很容易地碰到麻煩,尤其是經驗較少的研究人員。

Excellent work.
我嘗試著用我覺得通順的方式修改一些細節,大體上是沒有錯的,只是我覺得這樣會稍微通順一些。
我覺得中文裡比較少使用到比較級的用詞,例如(很)好,(可)不簡單,(很)值得研究,除非真的非常強調。因為我想這樣專業、論文型的文章,語氣通常比較和緩,比較論事就事,教少用強調性語詞,所以我把他們刪掉了。當然只是我的想法,原文並沒有不對。
希望這對你有幫助,如果有任何疑問,歡迎寫訊息問我 : ) 

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